By Ada Brownell
“For a long time propagandists have recognized that lying must be avoided,” says Jacques Ellul, author of “Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes”. “In propaganda, truth pays off.”
Where propaganda goes to work to change minds is in the “interpretation” of the truth, or the way they twist the truth. In today’s terms—a spin on the truth.
Ellul told how the Communist Party in France made progress between 1921 and 1936 because of election propaganda. The same was true in other countries in the 20th Century.
Mao Tse-tung said propaganda can “force” people to become Marxist. His first techniques failed, but then he went to public discussion, criticism, persuasion and Marxist education, especially for children, and he turned China to his way of thinking.
This in spite of Mao executing an estimated two to five million people and several million were sent to labor camps.
To have the greatest effect, propaganda must base its self on existing tendencies, Ellul said, and not go against ingrained attitudes. Instead of going against what you believe, it gives you something else to believe–using your own desires and needs as a basis–and without knowing it, your attitudes are replaced.
Ellul said pre-existing attitudes fade quickly in real propaganda campaigns where it surrounds a person from morning to night, childhood to old age, in all he reads, hears, without giving him rest, a moment to pause, think or catch his breath.
I notice how schools, universities, and government are changing the way we think. I received my degree after I was age 40 from a state university and shuddered at how different the youth came in, but how similar they were when they went out. After studying texts that ridiculed belief in God and especially Christianity, attending classes that held up immorality as no big deal, being taught about the advantages of a one-world government and criticism of America, most students graduated talking alike, thinking alike, and believing similar things. They resembled a line of toy soldiers where it was difficult to distinguish one from another.
I think they were brain washed. Why didn’t my attitudes change? Because I consciously rejected everything I knew was in error. Sometimes I spoke up and continually prayed for God to guard my heart and mind.
But brain washing has entered our homes as well. Television and movies have a large part in that and we become so desensitized we don’t even notice.
Are we no longer horrified by abortion? Do we ask God for mercy on us when we see the proliferation of immorality? Do we resist the attempt to force acceptance?
What can we do?
Although some sin is now embraced by our government and people can be fined for not accepting it, such as businesses being required to buy insurance for employees that pays for abortion, we can resist. But that might mean a difficult road.
We also can consciously put profitable things into our heads instead of garbage or tainted messages. We can live in God’s Word, find squeaky clean entertainment, and acquire a knowledge of things that add to our talents and ministries.
We can resist opinion leaders who spin the conversation away from the truth.
Finally, and this is huge, we can go to our knees. Ask for miraculous wisdom and knowledge. Then pray that God will send revival to America. We need it.
A self-help Bible study by Ada Nicholson Brownell
The intriguing thing about our dreams is we’re always the “Star.” Comedy, romance, murder mystery, drama, documentary of a heroine—there we are in the middle of everything.
When we’re awake we also star in our dreams. Dream big and work toward your goals and you’ll write a story with your life that will cause satisfaction beyond what would occur if you were a famous television or screen celebrity who plays roles about fictional people’s lives.
Whether your story is a tragedy or a cherished classic depends on who you want to become and if you pursue your dreams.
If you continue to do or not do what you practice now, what kind of future do you imagine for yourself?
If we take time to dream and to imagine, it often changes our choices and our future.
The decisions we make ourselves affect our future more than those made for us. We have control of our attitudes, our work ethic, our sense of wonder, our faith to believe in God and for great things. It is up to us where we end up in life and eternity.
Ada Brownell’s prolific writing career began with youth publications when she was the youth leader at her church. She’s taught youth much of her life. More than 300 of her articles and stories have appeared in more than 40 Christian magazines and she has written four books. During her 17 years as a journalist, she interviewed young achievers in music, sports, academics, beauty, careers, and other pursuits. Ada wrote about the latest fashions and how to present yourself for success. Interviewed teen moms and those who work with them and reported on teens affected by substance abuse. She reported statistics annually and talked to health experts about Sexually Transmitted Diseases; interviewed judges who sentence juvenile offenders; and wrote about the tragedy of mental illness among teens. She also studied, taught and wrote about how youth can discover faith, even when society tries to keep them from believing, and how God helps anyone find joy in Him and an abundant, successful life.
Ada also is the author of Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, and Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal.
Blog: http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
Amazon Ada Brownell author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KJ2C06